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Mixed Outlook for Winter Crops

13 September 2012

AUSTRALIA - According to the September edition of the Australia Crop Report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES), winter crops across the country face mixed prospects heading into spring.

In releasing the report, ABARES Executive Director, Paul Morris, said winter crop production is forecast to be lower than the record harvest of last season.

“This reflects relatively dry seasonal conditions in Western Australia and some parts of south eastern Australia,” Mr Morris said.

“In contrast, conditions have been more positive in northern New South Wales and Queensland, where crops are forecast to achieve above average yields.”

Australian winter crop production is forecast to be around 36.2 million tonnes in 2012–13. If achieved, it will be around 20 per cent lower than last year’s record harvest, but still 17 per cent higher than the average over the five years ending 2010–11.

For the major winter crops: wheat production is forecast to be around 22.5 million tonnes in 2012–13, around 24 per cent lower than the record harvest of last year.

Barley production is forecast to fall by 19 per cent to around 7.0 million tonnes and canola production is forecast to be around 2.8 million tonnes, a marginal decline of 2 per cent from 2011–12.

Mr Morris noted that while wheat production is forecast to fall this season, the supply of Australian wheat available for export will remain high, reflecting the significantly high production of the past two seasons.

At the beginning of August 2012, stocks of wheat held by bulk handlers in Australia were around 11.5 million tonnes, around double the stocks at the same time in 2009.

"In the key summer crop regions of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, above average winter rainfall has provided promising conditions for the forthcoming summer crop plantings," Mr Morris said.

"Area planted to summer crops is forecast to rise by 6 per cent to around 1.7 million hectares, reflecting good subsoil moisture levels, expected high grains prices and plentiful supplies of irrigation water."

Total summer crop production is forecast to rise by 5 per cent to around 5.7 million tonnes in 2012–13.

You can view the report here.

TheCropSite News Desk



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